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With China absent, US farmers pitch soy to other Asian buyers

As negotiations to end the US-China trade war drag on, American soybean farmers are doubling down on promoting shipments to buyers elsewhere in Asia that stepped up when the world’s largest importer all but halted purchases over a year ago.

The US soy industry hosted importers from countries including Pakistan, South Korea and India who travelled through North and South Dakota this week and also visited ports in the Pacific Northwest to learn more about the American supply chain. The trip was made possible with funds from last year’s US$12bn aid package from the Trump administration to mitigate the impact from the trade war. So far, no deals have been inked during the tour.

In 2018, US soy exports tumbled about 16 per cent after China slapped tariffs on American supplies amid the tit-for-tat trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies. Increased shipments of the oilseed to other buyers, including record-large shipments to countries such as Pakistan, helped limit the fallout. However, prices are still well-below their pre-trade war levels.

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